- to take up or remove (floating matter) from the surface of a liquid, as with a spoon or ladle: to skim the cream from milk.
- to clear (liquid) thus: to skim milk.
- to move or glide lightly over or along (a surface, as of water): The sailboat skimmed the lake.
- to throw in a smooth, gliding path over or near a surface, or so as to bounce or ricochet along a surface: to skim a stone across the lake.
- to read, study, consider, treat, etc., in a superficial or cursory manner.
- to cover, as a liquid, with a thin film or layer: Ice skimmed the lake at night.
- to take the best or most available parts or items from: Bargain hunters skimmed the flea markets early in the morning.
- to take (the best or most available parts or items) from something: The real bargains had been skimmed by early shoppers.
- Metallurgy. to remove (slag, scum, or dross) from the surface of molten metal.
- to conceal a portion of (winnings, earnings, etc.) in order to avoid paying income taxes, commissions, or the like on the actual total revenue (sometimes followed by off): The casino skimmed two million a year.
- to take, remove, or appropriate for illegal use: to skim information from another's credit card.
- to pass or glide lightly over or near a surface.
- to read, study, consider, etc., something in a superficial or cursory way.
- to become covered with a thin film or layer.
- Slang. to conceal gambling or other profits so as to avoid paying taxes, etc.; practice skimming.
Origin of skim
SynonymsSee more synonyms for skim on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for skimmed
And I whipped off my straw hat and skimmed it across the room and it sailed right out the window and has never been seen since.Mel Brooks Is Always Funny and Often Wise in This 1975 Playboy Interview
February 16, 2014
I had seen the term listed in pregnancy books, but skimmed over it.Feeding Tubes, NICU, One-on-One Care: Susan Hatfield Talks About Living With Her Trisomy 18 Baby
February 1, 2012
When the Concordia skimmed the rocky reef Friday, lodging a giant boulder into her hull, Schettino made his second mistake.Francesco Schettino, the Costa Concordia’s Daredevil Captain
Barbie Latza Nadeau
January 18, 2012
Usually a diligent observer, nonetheless Winslow skimmed over the episode in two sentences.The Real Story Behind Thanksgiving
November 24, 2010
It is then boiled down to eliminate moisture and skimmed to get rid of the green juice.Pancakes' New Topper
December 8, 2009
This should be skimmed off as it forms, for it is a detriment to the jelly.Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 5
Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences
"He could have lived on the skimmed milk we feed to the pigs," thought Martin.Dust
Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
And yet you have only skimmed the beautiful river's surface as a swallow skims a lake.The Underdog
F. Hopkinson Smith
The cream was skimmed off, and only very thin milk was left in the dish.Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates
When you have boiled and skimmed it, pour it over the lemons and cover them.Directions for Cookery, in its Various Branches
- (tr) to remove floating material from the surface of (a liquid), as with a spoonto skim milk
- to glide smoothly or lightly over (a surface)
- (tr) to throw (something) in a path over a surface, so as to bounce or ricochetto skim stones over water
- (when intr, usually foll by through) to read (a book) in a superficial or cursory manner
- to cover (a liquid) with a thin layer or (of liquid) to become coated in this way, as with ice, scum, etc
- the act or process of skimming
- material skimmed off a liquid, esp off milk
- the liquid left after skimming
- any thin layer covering a surface
Word Origin and History for skimmed
early 15c. (skimmer, the utensil, is attested from late 14c.), "to clear (a liquid) from matter floating on the surface, lift the scum from," from Old French escumer "remove scum," from escume (Modern French écume) "scum," from a Germanic source (cf. Old High German scum "scum," German Schaum; see scum). Meaning "to throw (a stone) so as to skip across the surface of (water) is from 1610s. Meaning "to move lightly and rapidly over the surface of" is from 1650s, from the motion involved in skimming liquid; that of "to glance over carelessly" (in reference to printed matter) recorded by 1799. Related: Skimmed; skimming.